When the August bank holiday winds down, and as people prepare for the abbreviated week ahead after a jam packed weekend of festivals including Creamfields and Reading and Leeds, Jonathan Ross will
When the August bank holiday winds down, and as people prepare for the abbreviated week ahead after a jam packed weekend of festivals including Creamfields and Reading and Leeds, Jonathan Ross will be preparing for his first of four shows on Radio 2, the first programmes on the BBC station since exiting the Corporation in 2010.
The television personality will be standing in for afternoon personality Steve Wright, who is on holiday that week. Ross’ guests for his first show on Tuesday include the singer Lily Allen and the frontman of the ‘80s band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Holly Johnson, according to information obtained from the Radio 2 web site.
The programmes come six years after a controversial broadcast featuring Ross and comedian Russell Brand, where the two were heard to have left suggestive messages on the voice mail of actor Andrew Sachs, known for playing Manuel on the sitcom Fawlty Towers. This had been broadcast on Brand’s programme, which had been airing on Saturday nights on Radio 2.
Ross was suspended by the BBC after an investigation, which also saw the resignation of Brand and Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas. Ross returned after his suspension in January 2009, and stayed at Radio 2 presenting his Saturday morning show until his contract expired in July 2010. Ross also presented a Friday night chat show on BBC One for nine years, and currently presents a similar programme on ITV Saturday nights. He has also made other guest appearances on other BBC radio programmes.
Melody Sachs, Andrew Sachs’ wife, criticised the move, saying in an interview with the Daily Mail that it was a slap in the face.
“It’s highly inappropriate and I think it’s disgusting,” Sachs said according to the Mail’s report cited by the BBC.
However, some have said that Ross should be able to return to radio full time if he so wishes, including the columnist Barbara Ellen. Writing in her column of the Observer magazine of 17 August, Ellen said enough time had passed.
“Even when Ross left the BBC, I thought his punishment was being dragged out – though at the time I blamed the BBC – not, as now, still-disgruntled members of the public,” Ellen said. “Six years after Sachsgate, it’s almost fascinating how anybody not directly involved could muster the energy to remain ‘outraged’.”
A radio return?
At this stage, there are no plans for Ross to return to Radio 2 on a permanent basis. Reached by email, a spokesperson for the BBC told Kettle that Ross’ appearances were one-off.
Miranda Sawyer, the radio critic for The Observer, reached by email, said the move by Radio 2 was an interesting one, and could perhaps lead to a full time return.
“I think it’s an interesting move, given that they keep emphasising that he’s NOT coming back,” Sawyer said. “It seems to me that it’s a trial and if the listeners respond well, then he will come back. Maybe not this year but the next. He still has his telly show and that’s fine, but he loved radio and, as all presenters know, radio is a lot easier on the older star.”
For the moment, a permanent return to radio appears unlikely for Ross, however these 4 days allow him to return to radio, to for audiences to hear what Ross does best, shine a light on the world of entertainment, alongside a good Cuppa Media.
What do you think? Should Jonathan Ross present radio full time permanently? Will you listen? Have your say in the comments section below.